Hey guys, this is the quest I announced on twitter not too long ago.
Regarding the other quest, I am keeping it on hold until I can flesh out the characters a bit more. It did lose traction around the end, so I guess not many people will miss it.
The title of this quest is provisional. It is a quest revolving around school life, but as usual in my quests there will be a twist.
The hands of the clock on the classroom wall couldn’t move any slower.
As you take note of this, you debate with yourself on whether the fact that you’re learning Swedish is worse than the fact that learning Swedish is compulsory or not.
It’s scary how this play-pretend seems to be more interesting for you than you professor’s class, especially given how much this topic annoys you when it’s discussed on tv.
Then something slowly takes you back to this morning: your friend made you promise to help him with searching a guitarist for his band.
Aki is 17 and still believes he’s going to be a rockstar one day, despite the fact that his singing is mediocre at best. One would guess that being 17 is enough to grow out of the metal band fantasy, but as for every rule there are exceptions.
You start scanning the list of potential candidates, that pretty much overlaps with the list of your friends. Unfortunately no one of them is interested in guitars or musical instruments in general, exception made for some of the girls you know who play piano.
There is, however, a guy who might fit the bill. Antti is in your Advanced Maths and History classes, but he’s more an acquaintance than a real friend. Asking something like that of him would be a little bit embarrassing for you, and there’s no friend of yours who could act as a middleman, putting you two in touch.
What’s more, you are not exactly sure Antti plays the guitar. It’s just something you think you remember, but there’s no definitive evidence on that.
Before you can reach a final verdict, the bell rings, and you start packing your stuff.
Then, in the middle of the process, you feel someone gently tapping on your shoulder. You turn around to see Seppo standing right next to you.
“Hi, Martti. How are you doing?”
Seppo is in your Swedish and Chemistry classes. You’re not exactly friends, so the fact that he’s talking with you might mean he needs something of you. Probably your Chemistry notes, given that Swedish was never your forte.
“I am alright I guess. How are you? Anything I can help you with?”
“If you don’t mind, could you lend me your Chemistry notes? I am really struggling with it”
Predictable as clockwork. You reach for your bag and start digging until your hands meet with a yellow notebook. You pass it to Seppo, who smiles brightly.
“Thanks, man! I would be more than glad to return the favor”
Seppo isn’t exactly the brightest student, but he’s rather popular. Using his connections to your advantage sounds like a good idea.
“Sure, no problem. By the way, do you know any guitarist? I am sorry to bother you with this, but I promised my friend I would help him look for one”
Seppo strokes his chin pensively. “No one really comes to mind, I am sorry”.
It seems like your legendary bad luck struck again. Nevertheless, you force yourself to ask one more thing, just to fully cash in your credit with Seppo.
“What about Antti? Doesn’t he play the guitar?”
The question seems to take him by surprise, but he snaps out of it quickly.
“Well I don’t know. I am quite close with Antti, why don’t you just tag along with me and we ask him?”
>Take the chance
>Ask him yourself without intermediaries
1. a search or pursuit made in order to find or obtain something
2. Medieval Romance. an adventurous expedition undertaken by a knight or knights to secure or achieve something
What is the quest OP? Why should anyone give a shit?
Let's roll with this.
Maybe your luck has taken a turn for the best. You get up and follow Seppo out of the classroom and into the cafeteria.
You both grab the least horrible food the cafeteria has to offer, and sit down at Antti's table. He waves at Seppo, but looks at you quizzically.
"Have we met before?"
"I guess. I am Martti, we're in the same class of Advanced Mathematics. And History I guess".
He nods. "Yeah, I guess I remember you. Are you friends with Seppo?"
"Yeah. We study Chemistry together".
Seppo seems to be grateful of the fact that you describe him as a peer rather than a guy who needs you help.
You nibble your food, barely stomaching its horrible taste. Fish sticks really are the worse kind of meal the cafeteria has to offer, and you always feel nauseous after eating them.
Your gaze meets Antti's, so you decide to seize the moment.
"Antti, don't you play the guitar?"
He is rather shocked, as he almost drops the fork.
"The guitar? Ah, the guitar. No, I don't play the guitar. Why would you ask me about the guitar? I have never even come to school with a guitar"
He's visibly shaken. You must have struck a nerve, and you feel bad about it. The rest of the lunch goes on pitifully, with you being remorseful and quiet.
Antti gets up quickly as soon as he finishes the meal, almost tripping on his chair. He pats you on the shoulder, and you feel something trickle down from it.
What seems to be a piece of paper ends up on your chair, in the empty space between your legs. You grab it and put it in your pocket.
You consume your lunch as fast as you can, take your leave with a wave, and rush to the bathroom to check what the note is about.
It's quickly scribbled, and it says "skip history meet me in the music room".
No doubt, Antti left it.
>follow his instructions
>Ask Seppo about it
We'll roll with this.
Skipping classes isn't the healthiest of habits, but seeing Antti panicking and flipping makes you distressed. What if he will report you for harassment if you don't go? What if he will blackmail you?
Probably his intentions aren't that dark. Plus, you can't deny a certain curiosity to discover more about him.
As you walk to the music room, you start thinking to yourself.
Have you insulted him, or his skills? Maybe he had to drop the guitar at one point because he felt he wasn't good enough. Maybe he had to drop it because of family issues.
Once again, you shake off the paranoia. It's scaring how easily your mind fills with negativity. You weren't always this way. What changed you?
Before you can finish your trail of thought, you find yourself at the door of the music room. You knock a couple of times, before you hear a familiar voice.
"Come in, please".
Without further ado, you enter.
Antti is sitting in the first row, a guitar on his legs. It seems like one he borrowed from the music room, rather than one he brought from home.
"Why the guitar?", you ask.
"I will be asking the questions for now. First of all, what will happen on the second of June?"
"Hmm, the school will be over?"
"That's correct, but it's also not the answer I was looking for. What's Aino's favorite book?"
"I barely know her, how would I know?"
"What happened to Sanna's dog before the start of the school year?"
"I DON'T KNOW! There are tonnes of Sanna I know, some of them must have a dog. What's with you and these silly questions?"
Antti laughs softly. "Well well well. I thought a little secret of mine was at risk. Now, shall I play this guitar for you?"
"Uh, you told me you can't. You literally told me you can't play that, and fretted over it too"
He doesn't give you time to answer. He grabs the guitar and plays it like a pro, changing position as he goes on, even executing a rather complex solo.
>>44694950 this is me btw
His skill is astounding. You simply can't help clapping at the end of his performance.
He takes an half-serious bow
"Thank you, thank you. I will be here all week".
Then he laughs again, this time louder.
"I don't understand. I thought you couldn't play it. Why would you lie to me?"
Antti gets up, wraps up the guitar in its sheath, and then takes a sit at the teacher's desk.
"As I said, I am the one asking questions here. So now, Martti. Do you believe in an omnipotent God?"
>I am not sure
>none of your business
"I don't really believe that. I mean, those are the remnants of old superstitions. I believe in freedom of religion, or lack thereof. Science gives me all the answers I need anyway".
"Hmm, I see", he says, nodding.
"And what about this reality? Do you think it's... real?"
You roll your eyes. Is this guy trying to pull a Descartes on you?
"No of course, this is not real, an Evil Demon is playing with my senses, right? Bring it on, I am ready for this"
"You're well versed in philosophy. That's great. But I want your honest answer. Is this reality real?"
You shrug. "It might be. It might be not. Doesn't really matter, now does it? We believe for convention that it is, because we all perceive the sky to be blue, the ice to be cold and the fire to be hot. In short, debating whether our reality is real or not is pointless. We have no means of telling if it is or not, so we must stick with what we can all agree upon".
"Good answer. But what if I were to tell you that this reality is fake? Could you bear with it?"
"I guess. This is purely a theoretical exercise, however. Unless, by all means, you have the evidence that this is indeed all a deceit"
"But you see, friend. I do have the evidence. You remembered about me playing the guitar, but I never played the guitar before in this timeline. I was afraid you, too, were awaken. Afraid? No, who am I fooling. I was ecstatic at the thought that someone finally broke the code."
"Ecstatic? The code? Is this Matrix?"
"It's funny that you mention this movie. You have never seen it, yet you remember the plot perfectly".
You try to raise an objection, but you're unable to. You do know the plot, somehow. But you can't recall watching the movie.
"Tell me, Martti. If God was omnipotent, could he begin in the middle of history, rather than at the beginning?"
"Yeah, if he's omnipotent. But then it wouldn't be the middle anymore. It would be the beginning anyway, because there would be no other point in time before that"
"Sure, but the common folk couldn't tell that the world had just begun. They'd have fake memories about what they falsely assume is their past. For all we know, history might have begun an hour ago, 2 weeks ago, or... 7 months, 3 weeks and 2 days ago".
Something about this conversation is unsettling. You can feel yourself shaking.
"Have you read Nietzsche, my friend? Do you know about the Übermensch?"
>I have no clue
>Get to the point already!
>Yeah. What about it?
"Yes, Antti, very fascinating. I'd love to have a deep, meaningful conversation with you, but I had hoped you'd have something more relevant to tell me"
Antti raises an eyebrow, like if you were the one spouting nonsense.
"This is very relevant, Martti. Don't you understand? This reality is false. It's a cycle of events that are all pretty much the same. Only one person has the power to really influence this world"
"Let me guess: this person is you".
Another faint smile. "It is me right now. It used to be.. someone else. But now it's me. Only I can see through the falsehood of this reality, and acknowledge its limited scope".
"This makes no sense. You're just having delusions of grandeur. Who would have fabricated this reality?"
"Ah, that's a mystery. The evil Demiurge? The benevolent Father God? And yet this is all fake. This reality, Martti, is just a dating simulator".
"A.. dating simulator?"
"Yes. A popular kind of visual novels in which the main character can romance one of multiple girls. Spoiler alert, you're not the main character"
"How do you know we're in one?"
"Visual novels exist in this counterfeit reality too. Not like you could get to play them: the code of the game only goes that far. All in all, this reality mimics pretty well all the special traits of dating sims. Therefore, even if we're not in a dating simulator strictly speaking, we're in something that resembles one".
You slowly get your bag from the ground, and prepare to leave. That jackass could have just told you he didn't want people to know he played the guitar
"Leaving already? Why so soon?"
"I have no time to waste with your fantasies. Next time, consider getting to the point quicker".
"Fair enough, fair enough. Then, at least shake my hand before leaving. As a proof that we'll be friends from now on"
>"I don't wanna be your friend"
>Shake his hand
There's always a way out in my quests, Anon.
You sigh. You'll just shake his hand, how can that possibly hurt you?
You walk back a few steps towards Antti's outstretched hand. The second you touch it, you feel electricity around it. You hesitate, and he takes advantage of it by grabbing your hand himself.
Your body is in pain and your mind overloads. You see the same school year repeat over and over with minimal variations. How many times? 100, 200? You can't tell. You perceive all your memories beside those that you are acquiring as fake. This reality is false. It's always been about a guy getting one girl. Which one in particular doesn't matter. You don't matter either, for that purpose.
As you slowly regain consciousness, you find yourself in fetal position on the floor, panting loudly.
"You should have known. After all, simulated realities outnumber actual realities. The odds were not in our favor".
You slowly get up, holding your head between your arms
"This can't... what did you do to me?"
"Oh, that? Consider it a symbol of friendship. The Real Sight. From now on you will be aware of the cyclical nature of this Universe. Give it back to me at the end of this schoolyear, will you? It's a lease, not a present"
"What if I don't? What if I keep it with me?"
He shrugs. "The other guy didn't want it. I assume sooner or later you will be better off without it too. It's just a matter of time".
"There must be something we can do, to return masters of our destiny!"
Antti shakes his head. "No, there's nothing. We're secondary characters, and that's what we'll ever be".
As you're talking, you notice someone getting it. It's the janitor.
"Martti, this Universe does not care about secondaries. We are expendable. The game can go on without us"
The janitor seems to be minding his own business, as Antti gets up and produces a knife.
"What are you doing?"
The janitor commits the fatal mistake of turning his back on your classmate. Before he realizes it, he's been stabbed once, then twice, as Antti laughs maniacally.
"Something we can do?"
The janitor is stabbed again and again, in a perverted frenzy
"Masters of our destiny?"
The janitor receives the final stab. Finally, he falls on the ground lifeless, as his killer laughs hysterically.
"There is only the ride into obsession, Martti. And yours has just begun"